Name of Book: Horton Hears a Who!
Author: Dr. Seuss
Illustrator: Dr. Seuss
Publisher: Random House
Audience: Ages 3 and up
Summary: A story of an elephant, Horton, that hears a voice on a speck of dust and works to protect it. He learns that there is an entire town living on the speck of dust when he has a conversation with the Mayor of Whoville. His fellow jungle friends don’t believe him and work to destroy the speck of dust, and therefore all of the Whos. Horton encourages them all to shout for help so that the jungle mates will hear them and stop trying to harm them, and when it works, Horton is celebrated as a hero both in Whoville and also in the Jungle of Nool.
Literary elements at work in the story: A rhyming picture book set in the Jungle of Nool, told from the omniscient narrator point of view. Horton works to save the town of Who from the wrath of the unbelieving and mean-spirited jungle mates. The book carries a few themes, including: teamwork, perseverance, trust and care for creation. The theme of care strongly resonates with the line “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economic/ability make a difference to the story? The characters are either animals or fictional people, but gender is noticeable in both the jungle animals as well as the Whos. The small Whos show that no matter size, teamwork can be vital. The Whos were unable to protect themselves from outside danger, so a large protector had to step in and work to save them.
Scripture: I Timothy 4:9-10
Theology: In salvation, God makes the first move and reaches out because God loves us no matter how we respond to God. There is absolutely nothing that we can do to earn God’s love; God offers us love and right relationship as a free gift, not because it is earned by us and not even because we first ask for it. God also gives us the gift of faith so that we can trust that our relationships with God and one another are made right by Jesus Christ.
Faith Talk Questions:
- What does Horton mean when he says that “a person’s a person no matter how small”?
- Why do you think Horton risked himself to help the people that he did not even know?
- Have you ever been “rescued” like Horton rescued the Whos? Tell us about it.
- How can we, like Horton, reach out and help people how need our help?
- Can you think of a time in your life when God has helped you or rescued you?
Review prepared by Katie Todd, MDiv/MACE, Entering cohort Fall 2005
Horton Hears a Who! by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.